What Should I say – 15-17
At this age, teens already have had to make decisions about drugs. They are making distinctions between different drugs and their effects; between occasional use, regular use and addiction. And they are increasingly seeing peers use drugs.
-Youth in this age group are starting to focus on their future, so tell them how drug use can ruin their chances of getting into a good college or landing a good job.
-Be specific about the consequences of using drugs. For example, teens are ready to hear that alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other alcohol-related birth defects. They also need to know the risks of drinking or taking drugs and driving, or riding with an impaired driver.
-Teens tend to be idealistic, so remind them how avoiding illegal drugs can make the community a better place. Talk about the ways a person’s drug use affects others, and that drug use is not a “victimless crime.”